Oz (Chase Williamson) toils his days away in a failing warehouse as a repairman for vintage arcade cabinets. After being told by his boss that the operation is closing, our hero heads to bar to drink away his blues…though this is short lived as he heads back to the warehouse to bury himself in work, upon doing which he discovers a new game that before you can say Polybius begins to infect him with hallucinatory images after he plays it. As days pass, Oz’s reality becomes a Cronenbergian wet dream of bio-mechanical, hyper-sexualized fever dreams…and visits from a bizarre, violence prone transient. Can Oz keep his humanity as he becomes one with the machine?
Sequence Break is a great throwback to the works of Cronenberg mixed up with video game horror yarns such as the Beat the Bishop segment of 1983’s Nightmares…and it plays perfectly into thoughts all of us arcade addicts who were there in the golden days harbored…what if we could become one with the games and the surreal universes they presented us in the pizza scented, Journey soaked dives we called home. It doesn’t hurt that the film presents this off-kilter digital nightmare with excellent Bava-esque lighting, grotesque (and practical) make-up effects, and truly memorable inagery. Extra credit has to go to lead actor Williamson who manages to make the socially inept Oz an engaging and charming character and not a complete annoyance (I’m looking at you Jeff Fahey in Lawnmower Man). Adding to the aesthetics is a pitch perfect score that is equal parts John Carpenter, BBC Radiophonic Workshop, and Vangelis that provides excellent ambiance to a flick who’s subject matter is so entrenched in the 1980’s.
As for negatives, if you want rock solid explanations as to why the surreal craziness in Sequence Break is taking place you best mosey on along, as you aren’t going to get those answers.
If you want a head trip of a flick, then the body horror meets video warrior grooviness of Sequence Break will be right up your alley; it’s cerebral, gooey, and full of the type of arcade machine fuckery (literally) one just doesn’t get enough of these days!
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